Gran Meliá Nacional — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Closed for over a decade, Oscar Niemeyer’s 1972 Hotel Nacional in Rio de Janeiro has reopened as the 400-room Gran Meliá Nacional.
The restoration of the imposing tubular building in the city’s São Conrado quarter has preserved key elements of the original design – including the lobby, staircases, sinuous ramps and Carybé’s 45m-long concrete installation, as well as Roberto Burle Marx’s landscaping – while adding the requisite bells and whistles of a millennial hotel such as Trussardi bedding.
Interior designer Debora Aguiar’s mood-board takes its cues from the imposing Pedro Corrêa de Araújo chandelier in the lobby, though for sheer spectacle it’s all about the wraparound view of Rio, São Conrado bay, Ipanema and Copacabana from the hotel’s 34th floor helipad.
There are enough diversions here to keep guests hedonistically house-bound: the Clarins spa takes up an entire floor, while the pool concierge conducts tipsy caipirinha workshops.